Outdoor Living: Patio Redo Part 1

Hey there! Jeremy here for my second guest post, and I wanted to share a bit about a new outdoor living space we created! Our house didn't come with a ready-to-go outdoor living area (although we have a large yard), so it has taken some time for us to figure out how we want to use the space we have. (See more about another outdoor living space here). 

A couple weeks ago I took it upon myself to do some cleanup in our grill area. It’s an awkward little spot on the side of our house where we keep our grill and air conditioning unit. It looks like the previous owners attempted to make it functional by adding some landscaping rocks and pebbles, but it had just become overgrown and untamed. So, not really knowing what to do, I started hacking away at things I thought might help. My initial list consisted of:

1.     Clean up the overgrowth

2.     Add lattice and maybe an herb garden

3.     Add seating of some kind

So first things first, I started cleaning up the jungle that had accumulated back there. SO. MUCH. JUNGLE. Actually it wasn’t that bad…but it was itchy. Also, I found a snake. Now just so you’re aware, I’m essentially Indiana Jones in a lot of ways, my stunning good looks and general proficiency with a bullwhip being two of the main ways.Unfortunately, this also includes partaking in Indy’s hatred of snakes. Luckily it was just a small garden snake, so I quickly named him Pete and moved on (I later accidentally raked Pete and he didn’t like that very much. He eventually forgave me). So I finished pulling weeds and grass and whatever else was growing back there. Wow! Just that made a huge difference.

So after I finished cleaning up the brush, I made the trip to Lowes to grab some essentials. My shopping list consisted of (1) concrete anchors to attach the lattice to the concrete wall, (2) lattice, and (3) four 2x2x8 pieces of wood to attach the lattice / hanging herb garden. I also thought it would be a cool idea to create some sort of bar out there, so I grabbed a couple outdoor treated 2x6x8’s that I thought would make a cool bar. I figured I could make up some way to hang it later.

Once I got home, the real work began. The concrete anchors I bought came with a masonry bit, so I started drilling holes to attach my 2x2’s. I should really have a hammer drill if I’m going to drill into concrete, but my Dewalt did ok. I think it’s more about the bit than the drill really (although ideally you would use the best for both). Anyway, I attached 16 feet of 2x2s close to the top of the concrete wall and 16 feet about half way up the wall (where I wanted to attach the bar). 

Once these were up, I starting putting up lattice and it was pretty easy! I elevated it slightly off the ground in an attempt to keep the base from rotting. I may put a runner to cover that up if it bothers me in the future, but as of now I hardly notice it. I did 16 feet of lattice, but I kind of messed up an extended the 2x2s past where the lattice goes. I think I have a creative way to fix this, but that will have to wait for the full patio reveal.

The last 2 things I did made a big difference. Like I said, the previous owners of the house had done a little landscaping in the area and added some pavers and pebbles. The pavers were acting as more of a barrier than actual pavers, so I dug them up, cleaned up all the pebbles, and put the stones down as actual pavers. What a huge difference! It looked so much more clean and intentional! Secondly, I added the bar area. Now I’m going to leave you hanging just a little here and simply show you a picture of the bar. I’ll do a blog post about how to DIY the hanging bar very soon.

So that’s it! Just a few hours of work and I feel like we are well on our way to having an outdoor living space that we want to hang out in. It’s also given me a little clearer vision for what I want the space to look like, so I can’t wait to do a final patio reveal. Hope you’re inspired to do a little that goes a long way!

- Jeremy